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Reprinted from the " Times,'^ ivith Map and Appendix. 

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It is time that the English public should become aware of the 
character and extent of the persecutions which the Jews of 
Russia have undergone during the past year. Tlie Warsaw 
riots have come merely as the last term (as yet) of a series 
of similar outbreaks which have ravaged the South and West 
of Russia to an extent of which people outside th^t country 
have not the faintest conception. The news wliich have crossed 
the borders have been of the most meagre description, chiefly in 
the form of telegrams announcing that anti-Jewish riots had 
occurred in such and such a place. Coming at various intervals, 
they have altogether failed to strike the imagination, and it is 
due solely to this cause that the public opinion of England, 
so ready to undertake the cause of suffering humanity, has 
not given vigorous expression to its feelings of abhorrence. 
During the past eight months a tract of country, equal in area 
to the British Isles and France combined, stretching from the 
Baltic to the Black Sea, has been the scene of horrors that 
have hitherto only been perpetrated during times of war. 
Men ruthlessly murdered, tender infants dashed to death, or 
roasted alive in their own homes, married women the prey of 
a brutal lust that has often caused their death, and young girls 
violated in the sight of their relatives by soldiers who should 
have been the guardians of their honour — these have been the 
deeds with which the population of Southern Russia has been 


stained since last April. In the face of these horrors, loss of 
property is of little moment, yet they have been accompanied 
by the razing of whole streets inhabited by Jews, by the 
systematic firing of the Jewish quarters of towns in Western 
Russia, and by the pillage of all the propert}^ on which thou- 
sands of Jewish families were dependent for existence. 

In addition to all this, many Russian towns have heartlessly 
seized the occasion to expel from their limits crowds of Jew^s 
v/ho have been left by this inhuman and deliberate measure 
homeless amidst masses infuriated against them. And during 
these scenes of carnage and pillage the local authorities 
have stood by with folded arms, doing little or nothing to 
prevent their occurrence and recurrence, and allowing the 
ignorant peasantry to remain up to this day under the impres- 
sion that a ukase existed ordering the property of the Jews to 
be handed over to their fellow-Russians. So far from publicly 
expressing reprobation of these outrages, the Minister has 
issued an edict clearly betraying that the Russian authorities 
fully share the prejudice of the mob, and contemplate adding 
to the burdens and inequalities which have been the direct 
cause of the embittered feeling that has led to these dis- 

Ever since the Grerman anti-Semites had raised an outcry 
against their Jewish fellow-citizens, it had been feared that the 
movement would spread to Russia, and there take a form more 
adapted to the less civilised state of the country. \Vhen, 
therefore, the assassination of the Czar on March 3rd of last 
year had roused all Russia to the highest pitch of excitement, 
it was confidently predicted that the approaching Easter would 
see an outbreak against the Jews. It was said afterwards that 
the prediction was aided in its fulfilment by Panslavist emis- 
saries from Moscow, who planned all the subsequent troubles. 
It is at least certain that rumours of a rising had reached 
Elizabethgrad, and caused the heads of the Jewish community, 
who form a third of its thirty thousand inhabitants, to apply 
for special protection from the Governor. No notice was 


taken of tlie appeal, and on Wednesday, April 27, the dreaded 
outbreak took place. A religious dispute in a cabaret led 
to a scuffle which grew into a general melee till the mob 
obtained possession of the dram-shop and rifled it of its 
contents. Inflamed by the drink thus obtained, the rioters 
proceeded to the Jewish quarter, and commenced a systematic 
destruction of the Jewish shops and warehouses. At first some 
attempt was made by the Jews to protect their property ; but 
this only served to increase the violence of the mob, which pro- 
ceeded to attack the dwellings of the Jews and to wreck the 
synagogues. Amid the horrors that ensued a Jew named 
Zolotwenski lost his life, and no fewer than thirty Jewesses were 
outraged. At one place, two young girls, in dread of 
violation, threw themselves from the w^indows. Meanwhile 
the military had been called out, but only to act at first 
as spectators and afterwards as active participators. One section 
of the mob formed of rioters and soldiers broke into the dwelling 
of an old man named Pelikoff, and on his attemptiag to save 
his daughter from a fate worse than death, they threw him 
down from the roof, while twenty soldiers proceeded to work 
their will on bis unfortunate daughter. When seen by the 
correspondent who narrates this fact, Pelikoff was in a state 
of hopeless madness, and his daughter completely ruined in 
mind and body. The whole Jewish quarter was at the mercy 
of the mob till April the 29th. During the two days of the 
riots, 500 houses and 100 shops were destroyed, whole streets 
being razed to the ground. It may be added that the property 
destroyed and stolen was reckoned at two million roubles. 

The evidence of pent-up an ti- Jewish passion displayed by 
these scenes encouraged the foes of the Jews to wider and more 
systematic attacks. In the excesses that followed, the masses 
soon got to recognise professional ringleaders from Grreat 
Kussia. These distributed placards, found afterwards to have 
been issued from a secret printing-press at Kiew, in which it 
was declared that the Czar had given his orthodox subjects the 
property held by the Jews. In most cases the very day on 

which a riot might be expected was announced beforehand, 
Sunday and Saints' days being chosen as the days when the lower 
orders were at liberty. After a week's pause, a whole series of riots 
broke out, commencing on May 7th at Smielo, near Czergassy, 
where 13 men were killed and 20 wounded, and 1,600 were 
left without homes. Next day, Sunday, May 8th, a most 
serious riot broke out at Kiew, once the capital of Eussia, and 
still an important town, containing 20,000 Jews in a population 
of 140,000. Here the riot had been definitely announced for 
the Sunday, and the Jews sent a deputation to the Grovernor, 
requesting him to call out his soldiers to prevent disturbance. 
He bluntly refused, saying that he would not " trouble his 
soldiers for the sake of a pack of Jews." During the riot which 
broke out on the day fixed, the police and the soldiers again 
acted the same part that they had done at Elizabethgrad. The 
first procedure of the mob had been to storm the dram-shops, 
and, staving in the brand}^ casks, to wallow in the spirit. During 
the period of licence that followed, four Jews were killed, 25 
women and girls were violated, of whom five died in consequence, 
as was proved at the subsequent trials. At the liouse of Mordecai 
Wienarski,the mob, disappointed in the search for plunder, caught 
up his little child three years old and brutally threw it out of 
the window. The child fell dead at the feet of a company of 
Cossacks who were drawn up outside, yet no attempt was made 
to arrest the murderers. At last, when several houses were set 
on fire, the military received orders to make arrests, which they 
proceeded to execute with much vigour, making 1,500 prisoners, 
among whom 150 were Jews arrested for protecting their lives 
and properties. No less than 2,000 Jews were left without 
shelter by the dismantling or the burning of their houses, and 
for the relief of immediate necessities a Kiew Committee soon 
afterwards had to disburse the sum of £30,000. 

Next day similar scenes of violence occurred at Browary, in 
the neighbourhood of Kiew, in the province of Czernigow. On 
the same day still more disgraceful deeds were enacted at 
Berezowka, in the province of Cherson. Here lust seemed more 

ajDrincipal motive than plunder. While the Jews of the village 
were at synagogue a mob attacked the Jewesses and violated 
many of them, causing the death of three ; others who escaped 
the worse evil were driven into the river, and nine ultimately 
died from the effects of the exposure. When the Jews came to 
the rescue, two of them -were killed and a young lad stoned to 

The neighbourhood of Kiew was again visited on the next 
day, May lOlh, at Konotop and at Wassilkow. At both places 
the attacks had been planned ; at the former, wooden crosses 
were placed before the doors of Christians that their houses 
might be spared, while at the latter the day of riot had been 
announced, and the report diligently spread about that the Czar 
had given the property of the Jews away. At Wassilkow and 
in the neighbourhood eight lives were lost, seven at one fell 
swoop at the inn kept by a Jew named Eykelmann. He was 
forced to admit the mob to his wdne-cellars, and, during his 
absence in search of assistance, the drunken rioters cut the 
throats of his wife and six children. 

By this time the chief towns and villages of Southern Russia 
w^ere ablaze with violence and riot. Throughout the whole of 
the provinces of Cherson, Taurida, Ekaterinoslav, Poltawa, 
Kiew, Czernigow, and Podolia the notion had spread fast as 
Avildfire that the Jews and their property had been handed over 
to the tender mercies of the populace, a notion that seems almost 
justified in the face of the inertness of the Governor- General in 
checking the riots at Elizabethgrad and Kiew. At Wasiljew 
the Mayor even read a copy of the supposed ukase to the citizens, 
and a riot would have ensued had not the village priest done 
his duty and declared his belief that no such ukase existed. 
At Alexandrowsk, on the banks of the Dnieper, the operatives 
carried out what they thought to be the will of the Czar, on 
May 13th, rendering 300 out of the 400 Jewish families of 
the place homeless, and destroying property to the amount of 
400,000 roubles. As usual, the riots were previously announced, 
and the appeal to the Governor to send for additional troops 

proved fruitless. Even after the riots had commenced, a tele- 
gram despatched to the capital town of the province, Ekaterino- 
slav, was delayed for four hours b}^ the Grovernor before it was 
sent off. At Ekaterinoslav itself a projected riot was happily 
prevented by the issue of a proclamation by the local 
authorities declaring the Jews to be true subjects of the 
Czar, and entitled to protection of their property. At 
Polonnoye, near Kiew, a disaster was averted by the fore- 
thought of the Mayor, who changed the market-day to 
Saturday, and on the peasants complaining, he read them a 
lesson on the utility of the Jews as middle-men, and induced 
them to promise not to molest their Jewish fellow-citizens. 

From Alexandrowsk the instigators paid a visit to the Jewish 
agricultural colonies in the province of Ekaterinoslav, which 
have now been established for more than 40 years. The 
chief centres, Gulaypole, Orjechow, and Marianpol were visited 
in turn, and though no violence seems to have been done to the 
persons of the Jews, their farms Y>^ere almost entirely destroyed. 
At Orjechow the instigators who led the mob w^ere dressed as 
police officers, and produced a document falsely purporting 
to be the proclamation of the Czar. The farming implements 
were all destroyed, and 500 cattle and 10,000 sheep driven off. 
At Kamichewka, the Jews adroitly turned the supposed ukase 
of the Czar into a safeguard. Hearing that the rioters were 
advancing to attack, they brought the keys of their houses to 
their Christian neighbours, saying that if the ukase were true, 
it would be better that their neighbours should have their pro- 
perty than the rioters, and if the ukase proved to be untrue, of 
course their good neighbours would return the keys. The 
Christians of the village accordingly repulsed the rioters, and 
in a few days the Jews of Kamichewka were again in possession 
of their own property. 

Up to this time, the riots had chiefly arisen among the 
urban populations, but they now spread into the rural districts 
and reached every little village where even a single Jew resided. 
A Jew was murdered at Easdory, a few miles south-east of 


Orjechow, and at Znamenka, near Nikopol, on the Dnieper, a 
Jewish innkeeper named Resser was murdered and his wife 
dishonoured, after which both were cast into the river. At 
Balka, also on the bank of the Dnieper, there was only one 
Jew, Allowicz by name. A band of ruffians went to his house 
on May 17, and finding him absent, they violated his wife, and, 
to conceal the crime, set fire to the house while the poor 
woman lay helpless in it. All this was witnessed by her little 
daughter, crouched in a ditch hard by. On the preceding day, 
another tragedy had occurred at Kitzkis, where the house of 
one Preskoff was set on fire, and he with two little children 
left to roast in it, Avhile the wife and mother looked on, vainly 
appealing for mercy, to the ruffianly perpetrators of the crime. 
At Grregoriewk, a Jewish innkeeper named Rieffmann was 
cooped in one of his own barrels, and cast into the Dnieper. 
Again, at Kanzeropol, a man named Enman was murdered 
brutally and his wife violated and afterwards killed. Such were 
the deeds that were done on the banks of the Dnieper, during 
the month of May. 

Meantime, the seaport Odessa had likewise been the scene 
of an anti-Jewish riot. Originally announced for May 13, it 
was postponed till the Sunday, May 15, without, however, any 
precautions being taken by the Grovernor, who had as usual been 
duly warned of the impending outbreak. Though only lasting 
for six hours, the riot resulted in the death of a Jew named 
Handelmann, and eleven cases of violation are reported, one re- 
sulting in death. Here the Jews seemed to have been most 
energetic in their resistance. Of the 800 arrests made, 150 
were Jews, 26 of whom were afterwards charged with carrying 
revolvers without a permit. The police estimated the 
damage done at 1,137,831 roubles, while those more im- 
mediately concerned raised the sum to three millions. Similar 
scenes took place on the same day at Wolwezysk, on the 
borders, where a riot had been announced for the Sunday. 
A week afterwards, the lower orders of Berdyczew rose ao-ainst 
the Jews, and on May 24th, a riotous 'disturbance occurred at 
Zmerinka, in Podolia. 

A 3 


Thus, within a month of the first outbreak, almost every 
town of importance in Southern Kussia had seen such horrors 
as we have described. Apart from the influence of the ring- 
leaders, the rioters had no cause to incite them to rapine except 
the force of contagion, and the impression that the Czar had 
really transferred all Jewish property to his orthodox subjects. 
If once this impression had been officially removed, the 
epidemic would have been checked. In many cases it was 
distinctly shown that the peasants liked the Jews, and 
jnly pillaged because they thought it had been ordered. 
At Bougaifka, for example, a few days after the peasants 
had destroyed the property of the Jews, they became contrite, 
and gave their Jewish neighbours 800 roubles as some 
sompeusation for the damage they themselves had caused. 
In the face of such a fact, it is tolerably certain that if 
the supposed proclamation had been energetically and officially 
denied, the riots might never have reached the extent that they 
eventually did. The contagion spread as far as Saratow in 
early June, from thence to Astrakhan, and even reached a town 
near Somsk, in Siberia, and caused an anti-Jewish riot there. 
The only bright spot in all this gloom was the condition of 
Poland, where Jews and Poles have always lived in amity. 
This continued till General Ignatiew directed the Grovernor of 
Poland to appoint commissions of experts to consider how the 
Jews should be dealt with, to which fact persons on the spot 
attribute the rise of anti-Jewish feeling that culminated 
in the Warsaw riots. But outside Poland these outbursts 
of popular prejudice placed a population of nearly two 
millions in perpetual dread of their lives and property. 
At times they dared not remove their clothes night or 
day, fearing that they might have to flee at any moment. 
Ever since last April, that feeling of fear and insecurity has 
ruled the lives of all Kussian Jews. 

Not a month, scarcely a week, has passed since then without 
some outbreak or other occurring to confirm these fears and 
render them the more acute. After the Saratow affair, on June 


8th, in which 30 Jews were wounded, there was a comparative 
lull in the more violent forms of outrage. But early in July 
the neighbourhood of Kiew and the banks of the Dnieper were 
once more visited by scenes which recall the horrors of the 
Middle Ages. On Sunday, the 12th, open rioting took place at 
Perejaslaw, which was characterised by the fact that the mob 
were led to the attack by the sons of the merchants of the 
district. Commercial rivalry adding its sting to religious and 
social differences, the struggle was here of a more violent nature 
than usual, and, while 30 of the mob were wounded, no less 
than 200 of the Jews received serious injuries at the hands of 
their neighbours, and three died in consequence; 176 houses 
were destroyed, some by fire. At Borispol, on July 21st, scenes 
occurred during the riots worthy of the worst days of the Com- 
mune. Women, for almost the first time, made their appearance 
on the scene as assailants, and added to its horrors. During the 
rioting they encouraged their friends on to the fight, and were 
seen to assist them to violate the Jewesses of the village by 
holding down the unfortunate creatures. A curious petition 
afterwards sent from this neighbourhood, demanding, among 
other things, that Jewesses should not be allowed to wear silks 
and satins, may throw some light on the motives of these 

The reader will be by this time satiated with the horrible 
crimes which have been laid before him. Tlie imagination 
may now be able to take in the full meaning of the bare 
statement, so frequent during last year, that anti-Jewish 
riots had taken place in such-and-such a district of Southern 
Eussia. Suffice it then to add that the month of August saw 
such riots at Njezin on the 2nd, at Lubny on the 8th, at 
Borzny on the 18th, and at Itchny on the 28th. If September 
was comparatively free from disorders, the cessation must be 
attributed rather to the needs of the harvest than to the 
quieting of the popular mind. For, early in October, the 
mob attacked the Jews of Balwierzyski, in the government 
of Sawalki. October 3rd was the Day of Atonement, the 

A 4 


most sacred day of the Hebrew calendar, and the mob took 
the occasion to destroy the synagogue and wreck the Jewish 
quarter, where one Jew was killed and twenty wounded. Even 
as late as November, the myth of the spoliation ukase imposed 
upon the peasantry. On the loth of that month, a band of a 
hundred peasants at Czarwona, near Zitomir, pillaged the pro- 
perty of the Jews under that pretext. Lastly, to show the ex- 
citable state of the popular mind, the Sarah Bernhardt riots at 
Kiew on IS'ov. 18th, and at Odessa on Nov. 27th, proved that a 
mere suspicion that the actress was a Jewess was sufficient to 
arouse once more the fury of the mob, and cause them again 
to attack the Jewish quarter of those towns. 

Finally, this catalogue of horrors must be concluded by a 
reference to the riots at Warsaw, on Christmas and the following 
days. The detailed events of those days, when 300 houses and 
600 shops were pillaged and devastated, and thousands of victims 
were rendered homeless and reduced to beggary, are doubtless 
fresh in every one's memory, but certain facts must be again 
referred to, owing to their typical character. In the first place, 
the riot was clearly planned, the alarm of fire being simultaneously 
raised in at least two churches, and the mob being directed by 
men who spoke Polish with a Eussian accent. The culpable 
neglect of the military authorities of Warsaw in refusing to 
make use of the 20,000 men forming its garrison, finds its 
counterpart in the similar behaviour of the Governors of Kiew, 
Elizabeth grad, and Odessa earlier in the year. The behaviour 
of the police, who are described as " only interfering to prevent 
the Jews from protecting themselves," exactly tallies with their 
behaviour elsewhere. And, finally, the attempts that were 
made by telegraph officials and others to prevent the true state 
of the case from reaching the rest of Europe, may serve to 
account for the extraordinary fact that the enormities of the 
past nine months have only found the faintest echo in the press 
of Europe. Thus, while outrages on women were openly com- 
mitted, the knowledge of this fact has hitherto been kept from 
crossing the borders. 


The outrages we have recounted above, though, no doubt, 
the most important, are far from including all the similar events 
that have occurred during the past year. They have been 
selected from a list of over IGO towns and villages in which 
cases of riot, rapine, murder, and spoliation have been known 
to occur during the last nine months of 1881. Out of these, 
information was collected from about 45 towns and villages in 
Southern Kussia. In these alone are reported 23 murders of 
men, women, and children, 17 deaths caused by violation, and 
no fewer than 225 cases of outrages on Jewesses. 

Such have been the horrors that throughout the past year 
have assailed the Israelites who inhabit Eussia. Nor is there 
any indication that these atrocities will cease during the present 
year, unless the Russian Grovernment will intervene in the 
sacred cause of civilisation and humanity. 


Besides appealing to the blind passions of the mob, the 
Jew-haters of Russia have during the past year resorted to 
more systematic efforts to harass the hapless Israelites. The 
Russian Moujik has a method almost peculiar to himself of 
expressing his rage and hatred. Moscow is but the most 
celebrated instance of periods of Russian history when incen- 
diarism has been the order of the day. Whenever the fever 
point of excitement is reached, arson is usually the direction in 
which it overflows. So well is this recognised in Russia that 
the peasants have a technical name for the deliberate firing of 
towns : the " red cock " is said to crow. During the past year 
this method of revenge has been resorted to on a large scale 
against the Jews of Russia, especially in the West. By the end of 
June the " red cock " had crowed over fifteen towns in Western 
Russia, including Mohilew, containing 25,000 inhabitants, and 
Witebsk, with 23,000, and Slonim, with 20,000, as well as 
smaller towns like Wolkowysk, Schirwindt, Augustowo, Nowo 
Grudek, Ponovicz, and Lipsk. Many thousands of Jews were 


rendered homeless by this means, and on July 3, 6,000 Jews lost 
their homes by fire at Minsk, 4,800 being deprived of every means 
of subsistence at the same time. The town of Pinsk, in the 
same province, suffered a like fate. And shortly afterwards 
a conflagration took place at Koretz, in Wolhynia, in which 
30 lives were lost, and 5,000 souls left without a home. 
Every week added to the number of fires in towns inhabited by 
Jews, till by the end of September the list extended to forty- 
one towns. This probably involved the loss of home to 
20,000 Jews. 

To the mass of homeless and penniless creatures in Southern 
Kussia must be added the many victims of pillage. The 
violence of the mobs often wrecked whole streets of houses as 
completely as any fire, and we know of 2,000 who were thus 
rendered homeless at Kiew, 1,600 at Smielo, 1,000 at Konotop, 
600 at Ouchow, and 300 at Obuchow. The value of property 
destroyed, in the South has been reckoned to reach £16,000,000 

It is possible that an aggregate of a hundred thousand Jewish 
families has thus been reduced to poverty. The ranks of the 
ruined were increased by those who dared not apply for their 
just debts, while in many cases the peasantry have deliberately 
" Boycotted " the Jews. It must be further remembered that in 
several places the Jews anticipated riots by evacuating their 
homes ; thus, near Perejaslaw, after the riot at that place, no 
fewer than 17 villages in the neighbourhood were deserted by the 
Jews, and the same doubtless took place in other localities. 
Men have fled from the villages in which they have resided all 
their lives. Even after the events of Kiew the Jews of the 
neighbourhood, fearing the spread of disorder, crowded 
at the rate of one hundred families a day into the town 
which had so lately shown itself hostile. Others fled towards 
the borders, and during the summer months a camp of 
refugees in the open air, at Podwoloczyska, contained no less 
than 1,500 souls, including children of the tenderest age. A 
few, who still possessed some means, attempted to flee across 


the frontier, but many were stopped. Of 5,000 who managed 
to reach Brody, on the Austrian border, in a perfectly helpless 
state, 2,000 still remain there, liuddled in cellars. What 
horrors are in store for the thousands and thousands who 
have been left to face the rigours of a Russian winter with no 
resources, no one outside Russia can possibly imagine. 

Meanwhile, the municipalities, with the connivance of the 
local governments, have taken every means in their power to 
add to the misery of the situation. With rough logic, they 
argued that, as these riots were directed against the Jews, 
if there had been no Jews, there would have been no riots. 
They accordingly petitioned the governors of their provinces to 
issue orders for the expulsion of the Jews from towns in which 
they had no legal right of domicile. The Jews of Russia are 
only allowed to reside in twenty-eight of its provinces, often 
only in certain towns, and the number of permits to reside is, at 
least theoretically, limited. For the last twenty years, however, 
these barbarous laws have been somewhat allowed to fall into 
desuetude, and many Jews have ventured beyonfl the narrow 
limits assigned to them. Leaving aside the general question, it 
was clearly a most heartless act to add to the miseries of the 
Jewish population at the moment when the mob were eagerly 
scanning the disposition of the authorities to discover to what 
lengths they might proceed with impunity. Whatever be the 
legality of the measure, the occasion for introducing its rigorous 
enforcement was inhumanly inopportune, and lays the corpora- 
tions who enforced it liable to a charge of complicity with the 
more lawless persecutors of the Jews. At Kiew, for example, 
even before the excitement had entirely subsided, the 
Governor ordered a stringent scrutiny of the right of 
domicile among the Jews of that town. By July 29th 
the strict enforcement of these harsh regulations had resulted 
in the expulsion of 4,000 Jews, and quite recently new rules 
have been issued in Kiew, as well as Odessa, still further 
limiting the number of Jews capable of residing in either 
city. At Liebenthal, near Odessa, the municipality, of course 


with the permission of the Governor of Odessa, expelled from 
fifteen to twenty Jewish families, and imposed a fine of fifty 
roubles upon anyone harbouring a Jew for a single night. 
From Podolsk 100 families have been expelled, while whole 
regions of Podolia have been relentlessly cleared of the Jews ; 
the towns of Kromonitz, Dubno, Constantinow, Wladimir, and 
Wolinsk being the principal offenders. More to the east 
the town of Charkow expelled Jews at the beginning of 
August. At Orel, in the Government of that name, the 
expulsion has recently taken place on a large scale, and under 
peculiarly cruel circumstances. In that town 900 families 
of Jews, numbering 5,000 souls, have hitherto dwelt in peace 
and goodwill with their neighbours. Soon after the outbreak of 
the disturbances the Governor of Orel gave orders that all Jews 
must quit its bounds by September 1st. When that day arrived 
a further grace was allowed them till October 25th, and on the 
latter day the Jewish congregation met for the last time in the 
synagogue, and after tearful prayers removed the sacred scrolls 
and left in mournful procession tlie town that had been their 
home. Nearly 400 of them, however, did not even possess 
the means of departure, and ventured to remain, only to be 
thrust out by the police into the snow on the following night. 
In other places, where no legal objection could be taken to the 
domicile of the Jews, petitions were sent by the authorities 
requesting the imposition of all sorts of restrictions. They 
desire to restrict Jewish commerce in grain, to limit the sending* 
of Jewish children to the higher gymnasia and universities, 
thus stultifying their own complaints as to the want of culture 
among the Jews. 

Many of the local Commissions would prevent Jews from 
holding " harandas," erroneously described as " dram-shops,'^ 
but really general stores, at which wine and spirits are sold. We 
have already referred to the Perejaslaw petition, that Jewesses 
be not allowed to wear silks and satins. These expulsions and 
petitions have formed the sole answer which the town councils 
of Kussia have given to the Jewish question. 


Meanwhile, what has been done in this emergency ? It is 
by no means difficult to suggest what could and should have 
been done from the first appearance of an ti- Jewish feeling 
in the south. If orders had been given and published that 
every Governor-Greneral should supply Jewish communities 
with a guard, on application from the Rabbi and the elders 
of the community ; if an edict had been passed rendering all 
damage to Jewish property by riots chargeable to the communal 
rates of the town or village ; if, above all, a proclamation had 
been issued declaring that all Jewish subjects were as much en- 
titled to protection of life and property as their orthodox fellow- 
citizens, and denying the existence of any ukase purporting to 
" convey " their property, it is safe to assert that the disorders 
would not have spread far, and certainly would not have lasted 
long. Instead of this, at Kiew instructions were issued that 
the military should not be called out till the last extremity. 

As early as May 23rd, the Czar, having been appealed to by 
a deputation of the Jews of St. Petersburg, headed by Baron 
Griinzburg, expressed his intention of dealing with the evil. 
Accordingly Count Kutaissow was despatched to the South to 
make inquiries. He returned, it would seem, with the result that 
still further inquiries were necessary. General Ignatiew now 
took the opportunity to introduce a system by which the 
Zemstvos, or provincial assemblies, might be superseded by local 
committees of experts on this special subject ; and on September 
3rd the following rescript was issued. 

" For some time the Government has given its attention to 
" the Jews, and to their relations to the rest of the inhabitants 
" of the empire, wdth the view of ascertaining the sad condition 
" of the Christian inhabitants, brought about by the conduct 
" of the Jews in business matters. 

" For the last twenty years the Government has endea- 
" voured, in various ways, to bring the Jews near to its other 
" inhabitants, and has given them almost equal rights with the 
" indigenous population. The movements, however, against 
" the Jews, which began last spring in the South of Russia, and 


" extended to Central Russia, prove incontestably that all its 
" endeavours have been of no avail, and that ill-feeling prevails 
" now as much as ever between the Jewish and the Christian 
" inhabitants of those parts. Now, the proceedings at the trial 
" of those charged with rioting, and other evidence, bear witness 
" to the fact that the main cause of those movements and riots 
" — to which the Russians, as a nation, are strangers — was but a 
" commercial one, and is as follows : 

" During the last twenty years the Jews have gradually pos- 
" sessed themselves of not only every trade and business in all 
" its branches, but also of a great part of the land by buying or 
" farming it. With few exceptions they have, as a body, devoted 
" their attention, not to enriching or benefiting the country, 
" but to defrauding by their wiles its inhabitants, and particu- 
" larly its poor inhabitants. This conduct of theirs has called 
" forth protests on the part of the people, as manifested in acts 
" of violence and robbery. The Grovernment, whilst on the 
" one hand doing its best to put down the disturbances, and to 
" deliver the Jews from oppression and slaughter, have also on 
" the other hand thought it a matter of urgency and justice to 
" adopt stringent measures in order to put an end to the 
" oppression practised by the Jews on the inhabitants, and to 
" free the country from their malpractices, which were, as is 
" known, the cause of the agitation. 

" With this view, it has appointed Commissions (in all the 
" towns inhabited by Jews), whose duty it is to inquire into the 
" following matters : 

" I. What are the trades of the Jews which are injurious to 

" the inhabitants of the place ? 
" II. What makes it impracticable to put into force the 
" former laws limiting the rights of the Jews in the 
" matter of buying and farming land, the trade in in- 
*' toxicants and usury ? 
" III. How can those laws be altered so that they shall no 
" longer be enabled to evade them, or what new laws are 
" required to stop their pernicious conduct in business ? 


" IV. Give (besides the answers to the foregoing questions) 
" the following additional information : 

" (a) On the usury practised by the Jews in their dealings 
" with Christians, in cities, towns, and villages. 

" (6) The number of public-houses kept by Jews in their 
" own name, or in that of a Christian. 

" (c) The number of persons in service with Jews, or under 
" their control. 

" (d) The extent (acreage) of the land in their possession, 
" by buying or farming. 

" (e) The number of Jewish agriculturists. 

" In addition to the above-named information to be sup- 
" plied, every Commission is empowered to report on such 
" conduct and action of the Jews as may have a local interest 
" and importance, and to submit the same to the Ministry." 

That after the events of May, June, and July, any person in 
authority in Russia should in August have been thinking of aught 
else but the protection of Jewish lives and the honour of Jewish 
women is the first surprise that meets us in this remarkable docu- 
ment. But that no word of reprimand should be addressed to 
those that had indulged in such misdeeds is a severer surprise 
still ; the only allusion to the whole catalogue of horrors being 
couched in the half-apologetic allusion to *' protests " that 
have taken so deplorable a form. It is certain that the direct 
cause of the objection of the Russians to their Jewish fellow- 
citizens is the natural result of the Russian laws which restrict 
their rights and mark them off from the rest of the nation. It 
is the lesson taught by all experience, that the only solution of 
the Jewish question is the granting of full equality. It is 
absolutely certain that the whole body of Jews, forming one- 
eighth of the population amid which they dwell, cannot be 
accused of "exploitation," or '* usury," as imputed by the 
rescript, the fact being that the chief industries of Russia are 
in the hands of the thrifty and hard-working Jews. Again, 
objection to innkeeping by Jews is clearly a gross injustice^ 
seeing that statistics show drimkenness to be more prevalent 


in provinces where Jews do not reside. But, waiving all this, 
surely the poor women who had been violated, the little chil- 
dren who had been murdered, the farmers who had been 
robbed of their cattle and implements, could not be accused 
of these charges, and it was accordingly a refinement of cruelty 
to issue this document, teeming with animus at a time when 
the passions of the mob had been raised against all Jews 
without distinction of person, occupation, age, or sex. The 
Jewish question at the present moment is not whether the 
Jews should be prevented from competing with the Eussians 
in certain trades, but whether the lives of three millions and 
a half of Jews shall be left at the mercy of the passions of 
the mob. A document like this, far from helping to solve the 
question, rather adds to its complexity by showing clearly to 
the populace that the authorities share their prejudices. The 
appointments to commissions showed the same bias : at the 
head of the Kiew Commission was placed Greneral Drudkoff, the 
Grovernor of Kiew, who initiated the proceedings of the first 
meeting by declaring " either I or the Jews must go." On 
another Commission was placed M. Chigaryne, whose only claim 
to be considered an expert on the Jewish question was that 
he had written a pamphlet entitled " The Annihilation of the 

At Odessa, the first Commission was dismissed because it 
had recommended the only true solution of the questions put 
by the Minister for the Interior, the granting to the Jews 
full equality of rights and equal liberty of settlement with their 
fellow-citizens of other creeds. A second Commission was there- 
upon appointed with views more in consonance with the spirit of 
the rescript. When the Governor of Warsaw, Count Albidinski, 
was ordered to publish the circular, he at first refused, saying 
that Jews and Poles had always lived on such friendly terms 
that no Commission was necessary. He was, however, forced 
to publish the rescript, and competent observers attribute the 
rise of anti-Semitic feeling in Warsaw mainly to this publi- 


These acts, and the tone of the circular itself, made clear to 
the Commissions what was expected of them. They have 
accordingly made recommendations, 'which will, if adojjted, 
bring back all the horrors of the Middle Ages on the unfortunate 
Jews of Eussia. Thus, among other proposals, they have 
advised that Jews should not be allowed to build synagogues 
C)r establish schools and orphan asylums, that they should not 
be permitted to reside in villages, nor own houses or landed 
property, that Jews should not lease factories or sell spirituous 
liquors, or be apothecaries. Beside this, it is rumoured that it is 
intended to restrict still further the right of domicile, and to 
allow no Jew to reside within eighty miles of the borders. 
In short, it seems to be the intention to make Eussia an 
impossible home for the Jews, or perhaps even to doom them 
to complete extinction. The Eusso-Jewish question may, 
therefore, be summed up in these words : Are three and a 
half millions of human beings to perish because they are Jews ? 







IN 1881. 


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